Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Conversations with Asher

(Loud truck noise.)

Asher: What's that noise?

Me: That is a trash truck.

Asher: Beep beep. He back up.

Me: Yes, that's right baby.

Asher: Beep beep. Who got keys jeep. Vroom vroom.

Me: Yeah buddy! (Thinking: Missy Elliot should be here for this.)

(Two minutes later.)

(More truck noise.)

Asher: What's that noise?

Me: That is another trash truck.

Asher: Beep beep. Who got keys trash truck. Vrooooom.

(Ha! Love it.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet Elias Leigh

It's been seven months and two days since sweet Elias joined our family. Seems like yesterday and years ago all at the same time. He melts my heart on a daily basis. Besides his cat napping tendencies of late, he really is a sweet, sweet baby.

From the beginning, Elias was a different little newborn than Asher. He was born and immediately became a nursing champ. He nursed and slept and nursed and slept. It was such a stark contrast to Asher at that age. I thought to myself many times - So this is why people love newborns!

Looking back, I think a lot of it had to do with my mental state and being a halfway experienced parent. The things that were locked in my mind for concern the first time around (nursing, screaming, pooping, puking, gagging, bumps, grunts, sleeping) weren't an issue in my head with Elias. It was amazing.

I began to understand why some people say that maternity leave was the best time of their lives. I understood why people said 'sleep when they sleep' because Elias did, in fact, sleep. And if I didn't have a toddler, I would have slept a lot those first three months.

I didn't worry about breastfeeding supply issues or the number of poopy diapers or the spitting up. I nursed whenever and wherever I felt like it. I shopped while he snoozed in his carrier. I just thoroughly enjoyed each and every sweet moment with this little guy.

And his grins, oh his grins. He smiles at the sight of me. He smiles at passersby at the store. And those dimples, oh they kill me. He is going to melt some ladies one day, I just know it. And he's loud. Really loud. Like really, really loud. I think it's because he has to make his presence known around his talkative and sometimes tantruming brother. He snores like a grown man. And makes you really work for his giggles.

He's a grabber. Whether it's my shirt, or a lovie or the nearest anything, he likes to grab and snuggle. I started laying a little lovey under his head when I put him down. Then, when he reaches to settle in, and starts scraping at the sheet, he grabs the lovey. It's adorbs.

He makes these cute noises when he nurses. And he likes to grab my face and scratch my lips. He gets himself settled in my arms just the way he wants. And he sprawls out in his crib and sleeps in the position that I love best, too. He sucked his thumb for a few weeks, and then sadly stopped. I loved seeing him find his thumb and sooth himself. So sweet.

He has chubby cheeks and skinny legs that tell stories all on their own with their crazed kicks. He scoots around on his back and is mesmerized by furniture legs. He wraps his little arms around my face and slobbers on my chin.

He's equal parts calm and drama. He's happy to be held - all the time, any time. And, he's pretty much a mama's boy so far.

He fits right into our family. And right into my arms. And has doubled the size of my heart.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two boys in the tub

I've been waiting for this milestone for months now. The double baby bath.

We have had our bathtime/bedtime routine for Asher. And we were having to kind of do double-duty while Elias needed to be in the infant tub. I knew the time was right when I put E in the shower with me in his tub and he pulled himself forward on the front edge and catapulted himself over the front. Thankfully, I was (halfway) paying attention and grabbed his slippery self before he face planted into the tile.

Off to the big tub we went the next night!

At first Asher was all, Um what is going on here? Why is HE here? I could see his brain wondering why the sudden swap out in his routine.

Side note: This was also the first night that Asher declared he needed to pee in the potty before getting in the water (his usual pee zone). Homeboy stood on the toilet and PEEEEEEED!

That's how we roll here. Milestone efficiency. (It should be also noted that I think he's maybe peed once in the potty since that time. But, hey, I'm not pushing it.)

Anywho, back to the bath.

Like any good mamarazzi, I grabbed the camera and took 18,000 pictures of the boys in that tub. At first I thought I was going to be seriously let down with my photo proof of this event. Asher faced the faucet and played with the water. Elias sat in the back in his bath ring. And that was that. No playing or cute faces or toy tossing or splashing. It was quite uneventful.

But, they soon got into the mood we were anticipating. Elias explored this whole new world floating around him. Asher enjoying showing off his swimming skills for little bro. They read books. Got their hairs washed. Cheesed for the camera. Dad got to show off his double duty bathing skills.

And I got to bask in the sweetness of these pictures. I'm a proud mama, y'all. This is true.

(Warning: photo overload about to hit your screen.)

Those hands, those hands.

Hmm, I think I'll read this book. And you eat that foam letter.

Ah, my big boy.

Hanging on. Water on the head. Well, this is new.

Oh, I'm feeling this. Lots of squishy wet things to gum on.

The Peoples' noggins in full effect.


Elias, I'm swimming!

Bigger cheeeeeeese! (And, the letter H tastes better than the M.)

Hi, pretty boy.

Hi boo. Eeeeeek, you are cute.

I'm gonna need to read this book. But really, those hands, y'all!

Elmo. A classic.

The new bath tub ritual. Two boys in the tub.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A word about work


That's the word that comes to mind first and foremost when thinking about my work. Just plain blessed.

I'd also probably follow that up with: exhausting, overwhelming (at times), challenging, fun, rewarding, lost (ok, that's not an adjective, but you get the point).

Lost and overwhelming because I didn't know diddly squat about running my own business. Exhausting because I have a two-year old and a seven-month old who keep me going nonstop. 24 hours a day. Challenging and fun because I love what I do and that I get to exercise those web parts of my brains and do really cool, rewarding stuff along the way.

But back to blessed.

When I first ventured out on my own, I didn't really know what I was going to do. I left the agency world whose workload and stress levels didn't mesh with the new-mom me. I thankfully have the world's most understanding husband that said, "Go for it. We'll make it work." I did a few odds and ends projects for various contacts and was only working a hour or so a day. It worked.

And then, something wild started growing. I had really amazing opportunities come my way. My sister had the availability and desire (Thank you, God! And thank you, Nini!) to come and love on my kids while I ramped up my work hours. People that I loved, loved, loved were willing to work alongside of me. And before I even really knew what happened, Krobe Interactive happened.

And now, Krobe is a year old. (Oh, and it's pronounced with a long O, silent e. Though, I think Krob-ie is cute.)

I have done work that I love. Work that has stretched my brain. All while my kids are playing upstairs so I can peek in on and play with them. I even survived my own self-given 'maternity leave' while a dear friend covered for me. (There are not enough thanks in the world for you, D.)

I have clients that I truly love and respect - that love and respect me right back.

I have a husband who helps me figure out all of the in's and out's of running a successful business (and chases me around the house to complete my expense reports and turn in receipts).

I have people on the Krobe team that are of my choosing, that I am truly honored to work virtually 'alongside' every day. These are smart, smart people y'all. Good, good people. And we make a pretty mean (read: awesome) team, if I do say so myself.

To those of you that are a part of the Krobe world, I send you a huge hug of appreciation. Thank you for supporting me. For supporting my family. For helping me do what I love while loving my biggest loves.

Tonight, I'm just feeling extra blessed. That is all.

Go team!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just a little Elias for your day

Earlier, Elias woke up (well-rested) from his long 12-minute nap.

I needed to finish up a few things for work, so I sat him on the floor next to me. With every kid's favorite toy - Dad's calculator.

That bought me about 6 minutes. Then, he was off to explore. Everytime I looked down he was somewhere else!

Exhibits A, B and C:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Asher's Apps: Wheels on the Bus

Welcome to a new blog series I just made up in the last 10 minutes - Asher's Apps! Here I will share with you our current fave household preschool iphone and ipad apps. And, do note, they will usually be free. And, if the free version pops up a lot of annoying toddler-trick-your-parent-into-buying -this-by-putting-up-frustrating-roadblocks, you won't find it featured here. Smart, educational, entertaining, attention-holding apps only.

First up: Wheels on the Bus

It sings. It counts. Spells. Has many games within it that are easy for two-year-olds to browse. Math lessons. Spelling lessons. And it's visually pretty cute, too. Kudos Bus team!

Now, go download it, parents, and enjoy a few minutes of peace while your little one explores. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Asher turned two!

Playing catch up here.

Here's a photo journey of my big boy on his second birthday - April 27, 2012.

As you will see, we skipped the big shenanigans, because with a two month old it was more than I could even think of. I had moments of guilt - feeling like I was depriving him of a party. Then, I realized at this age the big, fancy party was more for me and photo opportunities than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of planning a themed shebang with all the cute details. But it was just too overwhelming to me at the time.

So, we spent the day as a family of four (plus Nini!), focused on our sweet boy and watched him devour a personal ice cream cake that evening. I bought Asher a giant car full of 'loons' and left them scattered for him to find around the house the morning of his birthday. Boy, he was THRILLED! And, I had no idea there was a helium shortage and had to do some major running around town to get these bad boys. (And I let those 'loons' float around the house in a big, giant tangled mess for days. That's love, kid.)

As you can see, I still made sure to have some photo opps with our little, intimate celebrating. And yes, we dressed him in a matching cap and shirt. (Asher, you can give us a hard time later.)

And Asher, when you are reading this one day, don't hate on me for being way late in posting your pics. I treasured you that day and every day before that and every day since then. Your mama just got a little busy.

Kid, you are the brightest, smartest, sweetest, most awesome two year old ever. You blow my mind daily with the information you absorb and throw back at me. You give me sweet kisses and hugs. You put yourself to sleep at night (this is a big deal) and greet us with your little voice every morning. You make giant messes, get sweaty outside, beg to go outside and then beg to go some more. You point out every sign of an airplane and inform me that the firetrucks are going to 'go help people' anytime we hear a siren.

You are just so stinkin amazing.

I could listen to you talk forever. And I will remind myself of your little voice changing each day, to make myself stop and listen and be patient in the now.

I could watch you bee bop dance for days. That little squat move you do is simply adorbs. One day I'll teach you the 'real' moves.

I could hold you in my arms for always. And I will, even when you push me away.

I could force you to sit on the potty. But I won't. Not yet anyway.

I'm going to let you keep sleeping in your crib. Because one day you will figure out that you can climb out, and you'll never be my baby in there again.

I'm going to fluff your pillow. And position and reposition your blankets. And help you find your paci. And fight you for haircuts. And chase you in your little Power Wheel. And let you wear your snow boots when it's 100 degrees outside. And help you brush your teeth 8 times a day. And hold you when you ask to be held. And give you kisses when you get hurt.

Because you, my sweet Asher Ray, are my heart. And you are growing so fast. So, so fast.

I will remember you at two, just like I remember you at one.

And I can't wait to see you at three and four and five and more.

Keep being awesome, kid. And I'll keep right on doing my best for you.

I. Love. You. Too.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Asher's first room


We made the big move to our forever home this summer. And boy, was that quite the experience. I have zero plans of doing that again. Ever. Hence the term 'forever' when referring to our new place.

I surprised myself by not crying my eyes out when we left the old house. I think I was so wrapped up in getting things boxed and organized and keeping the kids content that I didn't realize what I was driving away from when I drove off. There was not really this 'climatic' goodbye moment. We were just moving a few miles away, and I went ahead with the boys while the movers did their thing.

I think you can add the element of anxiety about the new house into this equation. My mom heart wondered how the boys would adapt. And how long it would take me to get their rooms assembled that night to try and help them feel somewhat normal in their new surroundings.

Asher had such a rough first night. Well, we all did. At one point, I think Rusty was the only one not crying. Asher cried and cried and cried and asked to go back to the 'old house'. 'No new house. No new house,' he said. Rusty sat next to his crib and laid his hand on his back until he fell asleep. The next day, he napped like a champ in his new room (I think the daylight helped) and it's been a gradual transition since then.

He still asks about the old house every now and then. And if we ride over to work in the lawn or pick up something, he knows when we turn on Chancery Place that we are at his 'old house'. But, he can also direct you to our 'new house' in our new neighborhood. He's proud of his new digs and whenever anyone comes over, he likes to show them his new house. Even if it's showing the same person over and over and over.

Before we packed up, I wanted to take pictures of Asher's first room. I remember vividly preparing that space for my baby boy. I still love the angles of the ceiling and the little shelf in the wall. It felt like a treehouse up there in his room.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my favorite room of all time in the 'old house'. I have such a soft spot for these images and the memories that flood in along with them. The nights in that rocking chair, balancing a growing Asher on my growing belly. The nights hearing my mom's old rocking chair creak through the monitor while Rusty tried to soothe Asher. The little shelf of little alphabet cards that Asher would take down and look through in his crib. And just family pre-bath time spent on the rug playing and hanging out. Sweet times.

Asher Ray, this is where you grew up before you grew up here. I hope you remember bits and pieces of it in the years to come. But if not, I hope this will help jog your memory. Love you, kid. Love you so much.

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